At Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., where I majored in news journalism and minored in philosophy, I was fortunate to take my first reporting class from Albion Ross, a foreign news reporter for many years for The New York Times. “The training of a writer is the training of a thinker!” he would bellow, after dismissing yet another story of mine as flat-footed drivel. I can’t say I enjoyed his classroom critiques, but they gave me an unshakable confidence. When I visited him in a monastery where he had retired in the Swiss Alps, he greeted with a warm smile.
I’m also an experienced editor who has moved from designing and laying out pages with print production staff to editing breaking news for digital-only publishers. I’ve worked on a few start-up publications, too, long on idealism and short on funding but stretched my skills. I like challenges.
The bylines below represent some of my best work; to read more, please contact me here.
Changes That Will Shape Personal Finance Coverage in 2021 and Beyond | The Reynolds Center (businessjournalism.org)
I loved digging into background and sources in the three monthly blogs that I wrote for businessjournalism.org, which business journalists used as a “jumpstart” in developing stories on a wide range of topics.
When Pensions and Unemployment Checks Don’t Mix, The New York Times
There must be a mistake, I thought, when I opened my first unemployment check. I had just been laid off from my job a few weeks after 9/11 and the amount was for less than I expected. I had rolled over my pension within the 90 days required by federal law, so I called — and kept calling — until I learned the facts: New York State was one of about a dozen states at the time that penalized laid-off workers for taking their pensions early. That didn’t seem fair to me after doing some reporting and realizing that many other mid-career, middle-aged, laid-off workers were suffering the same fate, too, so I took my case to the court of public opinion and pitched the story to The New York Times.
A Buck Here, A Buck There,” and “Talking ‘Bout My Generation” in Make Your Money Grow Finance Guide, Newsweek
After Quinn retired her column in 2001, I reported for five Newsweek covers on the economy post-Enron, wrote two stories in this special section on the challenge of making your money grow in tough economic times, and reported for her Newsweek column as needed.
“Retire Early? Think Again,” Jane Bryant Quinn, Newsweek
“One Boy’s Story,” Covenant House, Times Square, New York
I interviewed street kids and staff in these two essays, which pubished in two annual reports that I produced for Covenant House, the Times Square shelter for runaway and abused kids. In a sense, these stories wrote themselves — all I did was listen.
“Testimony from Times Square,” Covenant House, Times Square, New York
“The Vision of a Church United,” Logos Magazine
This essay, written early in my career when I worked on the staff of a start-up national news publication, still resonates today. Sadly, religious intolerance continues to make news headlines today.
“I Feel Like I Committed a Crime,” The (Morristown, NJ) Daily Record
“I Feel Like I Committed a Crime,” the first of a two-part series of the pros and cons of abortion that published shortly after Roe vs. Wade, won a First Place in the Interview category from the National Press Women. I wasn’t surprised at the reader response that made the phone ring.